Wilson Chilton’s mahogany Naval Architects/Naval draughtsman box of curves and templates, probably by Gillows

£ 10,500.00


Circa 1820




Dimensions of case: Width 39 inches Depth 16 ¾ inches Height 5 ½ inches

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Wilson Chilton’s mahogany Naval Architects/Naval draughtsman box of curves and templates, probably by Gillows still retaining around 100 superb quality small and large shears, two of them inscribed, the box of rectangular form with a hinged top, in fine quality mahogany with the T-square and straight-edge also executed in mahogany, a single drawer, with two original inset brass handles, opens at each end of the box, the interior retaining the original brass locking pin for the drawer, the inkwell (glass slightly damaged), period pen and old sealing wax (appear to be of the period.)  One inscribed ‘October the 15 1820 The small moulds 56 Wilson Chilton’ and ‘Number of shear moulds 27 1820 October the 15’.  English, circa 1820

Provenance:  Formerly the property of Wilson Chilton shipwright

Wilson Chilton son of Richard Chilton and Elizabeth Wilson, born 24/12/1797 baptised 01/07/1798 in Bishop Wearmouth Co. Durham ( Sunderland south of the Wear).  A directory of 1827 gives the address of 2 Low Street, Sunderland, on the Bishop Wearmouth shore.

1829 – 1840 Wilson Chilton appears to have had a shipyard in Sunderland.  He was obviously an important name in the industry and clearly would become a serious player in the area as a ship builder.

June 1828 He was one of ten partners in Leithead & Co. Shipbuilders. The London Gazette records the partnership as being dissolved.

24 December 1829 Chilton married Isabel(la) Kirton.

1841 A census described him as a shipbuilder living in Brougham Street, Bishop Wearmouth with his wife, two sons ,Wilson Jr and William, a daughter, his widowed mother, and his parents [sic].  He may well have owned property in that street.

4th July 1833. Wilson Chilton with six others formed a new company trading as Wilson Chilton & Co. This in turn was dissolved on

27th of April 1838. A new William Chilton & Co. was formed with three other partners and was later dissolved.

1851 was recorded as shipbuilder and employing 6 hands and 9 apprentices. A third son, Thomas was born, and his oldest son became an apprentice presumably under his father, his address was 50 Brougham Street, where he remained for the rest of his life.

 1861, age 63  bankrupt and appears to be employed as a foreman shipwright. At that time his eldest son, Wilson Jr, was partner in a shipbuilding firm called Spowers and Co., which was dissolved 16/12/1868, and from which a new Wilson Chilton & Co. was formed.

Wilson Chilton Snr was not listed as having any occupation in 1871 and then in 1881 he is described as a landlord and is living at 50 Brougham Street owned by his son Thomas.

1881 25th of September Wilson Chilton died. Probate was granted to his four children and his personal estate was £10. He had probably conveyed property to his children.

1911 Willian Jr his son died as a working shipwright.

NB There exist several newspaper cuttings relating to Chilton and the ships he launched.

Read our Gillows Blog here – The Furniture of Gillows and their design records 

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